Have you walked into a room where a T.V. is turned on to a sporting event of which you have no premeditated desired outcome? How soon do you choose one player, one team, or one side over the other? For most it is done in the first minute or so. Why does this take place?

It is not unique to anyone person. We all do it, if we have a competitive bone in our body. There are different slants to this topic, so let’s keep it simple.

The Tube is ignited, and there are two teams playing football, European football. Most in the U.S. don’t have a clue about “soccer” as it pertains to the competition of International league play. And forget the individual names. Too many vowels! We sit down, grab the clicker and find that there is nothing of interest and chart back to the original football game. The teams are colored out in shades of light and dark jerseys. (Seems advertisers have placed stickers on arms and legs, but when you put your glasses on these become tattoos.) A few minutes evaporate, and you find yourself slowly pulling for one of the teams.

There is a moment, at the outside two, that you might change your mind. But, however long you watch, and it could be just minutes (if you’re smart) you select “your” team. Now you watch a little more closely if not intently. You are slanted to a team if not entirely backing one. You are invested.

Two tennis players are stroking the green ball back and forth as you plump down on the chesterfield. You are not familiar with either player, just see that they are guys with colored bandannas and backward ball caps or ladies with simple arrays of sorted enticements. Again, you watch a few points played and you settle in on “the one.” He or she becomes your entry to win.

A disheveled (or not) psychologist would quietly point to the fact that you have biases which stimulate your attraction given the state of your cranium at that given time. Logical. Yet there are times you change your “favorite” AFTER the unsolicited pick was selected.

We cannot dismiss bias. It does support the decision. These engineered and locked down likes and dislikes stitched with time and place are sent at warp speed to the decision room to acclimate the brain to allow formulation of a favorite.

Which makes the selection activity itself a positive process (it can go negative very quickly when gloom darkens our choice’s chances.) Sure our senses have some articulation in this process, but even if we dressed the contestants all in white, covered faces with veils, etc, etc, (whatever action to take away physical stimulus) we would choose a side or player.

Where this phenomena becomes intriguing is when we have some knowledge of the opponents. Now other “outside forces” attract us to one of the teams, i.e. statistics…we want one to lose because it helps our team in standings even though we happen to like their opponent more ( reasons aside.)

What matters is not the process or decision but that we DO make the judgment without serious contemplation. And now we DO become involved and DO wish very much that OUR team or player WINS! Our competitive juices are flowing and we are connected. If we didn’t, how bland and unnecessary to watch. An option for sure. If it is European Football, we might decide that they flop too much and click off!

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